“IT’S A GREAT DAY IN SC …” (FOR NIKKI HALEY’S CABINET)
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s scandal-scarred Department of Workforce and Employment (SCDEW) is responding to its latest black eye by taking a taxpayer-funded vacation to a lavish oceanfront resort along the South Carolina coast.
Agency director Abraham Turner is one of dozens of SCDEW bureaucrats who will be participating in a mid-week conference at the exclusive Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club from June 27-29 – a gathering that ostensibly focuses on the agency’s Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP).
Of course this “conference” includes five hours of Wednesday afternoon golf on a Jack Nicklaus signature course (a.k.a. “team building”) and one hour of “personal hygiene” time prior to a lavish meal at the Club’s Sawgrass Room – which we’ve heard boasts an excellent wine list.
Here’s an email from an SCDEW bureaucrat advising employees of the mid-week boondoggle …
From: Speed, Eugene ESpeed@dew.sc.gov
Date: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM
Subject: Pawleys Island Veterans Conference Information
To: VetReps VetReps@dew.sc.gov
Cc: “King, Dennis” DKing@dew.sc.gov, “Paczynski, Michelle” MPaczynski@dew.sc.gov, “Davis, Charlie” CDavis@dew.sc.gov, “Melvin, Chena” CMelvin@dew.sc.gov, DEW Staff Managers DEWStaffManagers@dew.sc.gov, Area Directors AreaDirectors@dew.sc.gov, One Stop Operators OneStopOperators@dew.sc.gov, “Fairwell, Adrienne” AFairwell@dew.sc.gov, “Brantley, Molly” MBrantley@dew.sc.gov, “Ford, Ashley” AFord@dew.sc.gov, “Craft, Mary-Kathryn” MKCraft@dew.sc.gov
Attached are the Conference Agenda and Memorandum for Pawleys Island. In reference to Day 1, June 27, 2012, individuals who are not participating in the team building golf event will be able to enjoy the amenities of the resort as you network.
As always if you have any questions please call or email me.
Eugene F. Speed
Director of Veterans Service
Email address: ESpeed@dew.sc.gov
Office Number: (803) 737-2423
Blackberry: (803) 413-7881
There’s nothing like enjoying the amenities of a world class resort “as you network …” particularly when someone else is picking up the tab.
“Room costs for Wednesday, June 27 and Thursday, June 28 will be paid through direct billing to SCDEW,” the memo associated with the conference states, adding that “all conference meals will be provided at no expense to attendees.”
Not only that, conference attendees will be taught “how to prepare (their) travel voucher” so that they can be reimbursed for those costs, as well.
Both Haley’s office and SCDEW refused to comment on the conference. Meanwhile Speed – the author of the email we obtained – refused to provide information regarding the conference or its costs.
Calls to Pawley’s Plantation were not immediately returned.
Haley’s SCDEW has been a case study in incompetence and mismanagement. This week (as we exclusively reported) the U.S. Department of Labor placed the agency on alert due to its “continuous failure to meet the minimum standard of performance” related to the distribution of unemployment benefits. Three months ago, the agency was the subject of a scathing audit by the S.C. Legislative Audit Council (SCLAC) which concluded that the agency owed $782 million to the federal government from its unemployment insurance fund.
The SCLAC report also discovered that South Carolinians who “took advantage” of the agency’s reemployment services needed an average of 26.5 weeks to get off of the public dole. Those who didn’t use SCDEW took only 22.3 weeks.
Since that audit, FITS has continued to receive reports of fraudulent activity taking place at the agency – which recently rewarded its bureaucrats for their failure with a taxpayer-funded barbecue party at a local park.
One out of every five dollars in unemployment benefits doled out in South Carolina is awarded erroneously – the eighth-highest percentage in the nation. Obviously that’s a big problem in a state that also has one of the highest unemployment rates in America.
Guess SCDEW executives believe the solutions to these problems are to be found on the lush green grass of an exclusive coastal golf course …
About FITS Leaks: The documents used in this report were provided as part of our ongoing “FITSLeaks” series – an effort to get public information (and other newsworthy items) out into the public bloodstream as quickly as possible. Got a document, photo or tip you’d like to submit? Email our founding editor Will Folks (email@example.com) or send it via our contact page (http://www.fitsnews.com/make-contact). All submissions are anonymous …